Chapter 301 High Fidelity to the Old Days, Or, Does My Love of Elvis Costello and Old Books Make Me Old?

Full disclosure: In addition to discussing the bookish life, this post also discusses 1980s (ok in this case also late 1970s) new wave music, specifically, Elvis Costello.

Above: Elvis Costello sings High Fidelity

The weekend was a foggy, drizzly one that saw the final game of the soccer season. [Ed. note — dear reader, you should not infer from that sentence even the merest hint of satisfaction or relief πŸ˜‰ ].

It was also a perfect weekend for attending my favorite library sale and (bonus) a local antiques show. In my free time, I decided to catch up on reading some of my favorite bookseller blogs. After reading Brian Cassidy’s post over at Book Patrol, I was in the mood to listen to Elvis Costello. I had the iTunes all cued up on my computer. 1980s nerd that I am, I have 27 Elvis Costello songs, and though they are all from the days of my youth, I still remember the words to every song.

Poor Tom, who was trying to play a video game while his mother (badly) sang along with the fantastically cool Elvis: “Even in a perfect world, where everyone was equal, I’d still own the film rights and be working on the sequel. I’m giving you a long look. Every day. Every day. Every day I write the book.”

“Mooooommmm!!!” Tom interrupted my musical reverie, clearly annoyed. “Why do you like old music and old books so much?”

“Because Elvis Costello is a musical genius from the 80s,” I interjected between singing lines to the song.

“The 80s is such a long time ago, Mom. There’s way better music today.”

Suddenly, I feel old.

But I can’t help it. I still love the music of Elvis Costello.

And, just because I am in a bit of a silly mood today, here is my Elvis Costello playlist:

High Fidelity
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?
Welcome to the Working Week
(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea
Accidents Will Happen
Pump It Up
Radio Radio
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
Oliver’s Army
Goon Squad
Watch Your Step
Watching the Detectives
I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down
Good Year for the Roses
Man Out of Time
I Wanna Be Loved
Everyday I Write the Book
Brilliant Mistake
The Other Side of Summer
Tokyo Storm Warning
Sulky Girl
So Like Candy
Everyday I Write the Book

(Yes, I know Everyday I Write the Book is on the list twice. It’s that good.)

If you are an Elvis Costello fan, too, here’s a link to the original MTV video (how about that plain white background?) from the days when MTV actually played music videos. It’s the video for Radio Radio.

With my apologies to those who find my musical taste less refined than my bookish tastes! See you in the stacks (of LP records)! πŸ˜‰


Filed under A Family Business, Library Sales, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Chapter 301 High Fidelity to the Old Days, Or, Does My Love of Elvis Costello and Old Books Make Me Old?

  1. Don’t worry Chris – you are NOT alone.
    I grew up with ABBA from the 1970s and early 1980s. When I play their music, my son complains, saying that he doesnt like it, and to please turn it off.
    He prefers music with a beat – but it has to start and end with a beat and be a beat ALL the way through.
    Not many Abba songs do that. Not many Madonna songs either. I also liked Bucks Fizz – the UK version of Abba. In the 1990s I liked Ace of Bass and Aqua.

  2. So happy to hear I am not alone! ABBA rules!

  3. When I hear Elvis Costello music, I think of his marriage to Diana Krall. The collaborations that must occur in that household! I’d love to be a fly on the wall. What do you think? Has his music been “bastardized” by “smooth jazz”?

  4. I think Elvis Costello is a master at incorporating all different styles of music into his songs – he’s even done covers of and duets with Burt Bacharach. He’s got country songs, pop songs, rock songs, jazz songs, etc. and he writes them all well!


  5. Paul

    Looking at your list of Elvis Costello songs was like a trip back in time…I really need to listen to him more often. As for Tom’s aversion to “old music,” the key is bringing him along slowly. I started my daughters on the Beatles when they were around 6 years old. At 8 we moved on to Springsteen, and so on. Their mom has, however, forbidden Zeppelin until they’re teenagers.

    Can’t wait for the catalogue to come out.

  6. Glad you liked the list, Paul. Funnily, Tom takes guitar lessons, and is learning to play Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” (though not the lyrics). He seems to take better to the classic rock than the new wave. πŸ˜‰ The catalogue is coming. Should be in the mail late June, barring any further catastrophes! Thanks for the encouragement.

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